Governmental response to Covid-19, Sweden, etc

(Doug) #1

Some topics that were too overtly political or inflammatory have been deleted. This subject is very timely and on a lot of people’s minds - there are plenty of people on both sides, so to speak, on this forum. I think it’s a great discussion, but we do need to remain within the website guidelines. @FishChris gets the credit for this thread. Talking about ideas is fine, but personal criticism is not, nor is taking a position that amounts to “My side is right and yours is wrong/stupid, etc.” That’s what routinely makes talk about politics and religion get nasty.

@FishChris, @mtncntrykid, @Beachbum, @Chantarella, @Janie, @Allie, @MarkGossage, @Polly1, @Keto6468, @Mavro, @240lbfatloss, @Momof5, @Shinita, @brownfat, @Backspin, @lfod14, @JMHW, @FrankoBear, @ctviggen, @Elaine_B, @collaroygal, @PaulL, @atomicspacebunny

I’ll move posts for the last few days of the original “Sweden” thread to this one. I was able to move a couple pertinent posts from a different thread.

Everybody’s welcome to comment, and if somebody that has posted on one of the deleted threads wants a given post of theirs brought to this one, just let me know.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #2

I’m certainly watching, and so far, the answer is, Sweden is only slightly behind the US. and doing much better than many countries which are doling strict quarantine.

(Ron) #3

You might want to research a little more. Here is yesterdays daily death count-
Sweden, 185 deaths, 18.34 deaths / million
Belgium, 175 deaths, 14.68 deaths / million
UK, 828 deaths, 12.18 deaths / million
Italy, 534 deaths, 8.84 deaths / million
US, 2804 deaths, 8.44 deaths / million

(Doug) #4

(Sorry about only being able to quote this post - 24 hours had passed since the deletion of the topic in which it originally appeared, and I’m no longer able to move the post.)

Agreed - for all the grimness of it, it’s a fascinating subject. Somebody else noted that it would be seen as immoral to force such a condition on a country; we shall see.

(EDIT: Now the system is letting me move posts…)

(Jane) #5

What are they forcing? Don’t the people there still have the option to self-isolate if they so choose? Unlike here, I bet their jobs and income would be protected, making the choice easier.

(Doug) #6

Jane - it was Jeff @Backspin noting that it would be seen as immoral to ask a country to not lock down. I found the post:


Death rates

(Julie) #9

Totally agree. Both my husband and I were ill in December and January with a Covid-19-like illness. Loss of taste and smell, sore throat, dry cough, a terrible feeling of not being able to catch my breath, slight fever, a few days of feeling better, then a “relapse” and another week of general lousiness. I think we picked it up in on an airplane in December–I was on a total of 9 flights during a very short period of time in late 2019 and my husband was probably on double that many flights because of the work he does. Since our recoveries in January, we’ve been to London, New York City, Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA. I believe we have acquired immunity, although not intentionally. Like most people, we stopped traveling when the lock downs began.

(Jane) #10

This is Europe sorted by death rate per million population. Sweden is in the middle of the pack


(Doug) #11

They’re rather walking a “middle ground” - public gatherings of 50 or more people are banned, high schools and universities are closed, football/soccer season is postponed.

People have been urged - but not by law - to self-isolate. Public transport usage has dropped about 50%. Roughly half the workforce is now working from home (this amazes me - that it can be such a high figure). There are 70% less people on the streets in Stockholm.

Things working in its favor, as far as the virus, is that Sweden is not densely populated, and that a relatively high percentage of its people live alone.

Things working against it, monetarily, is that the overwhelming majority of the economic slowdown is due to the virus itself, not due to individual gov’t decree. Sweden’s stock market tanked by 35% very quickly. Demand for mined products, iron and steel, vehicles, machinery, plastics, oil, computers - all significant parts of the Swedish economy - has fallen drastically.

(Elaine) #12

It will be interesting when this is all ver to compare the results from different approaches not to criticise, gloat or blame but to learn what worked best with each population.

(Allie) #13

Yes the same with me, and a work friend too. We both had at least two relapses, the temperature just kept coming back on and off for weeks, and the fatigue went on for about a month.

(Doug) #14

Well… They’re 9 spots from #1, and this is among 48 entries, there.

Andorra and San Marino are tiny and densely-populated. The virus will necessarily move through the population at a vastly faster rate, all other things being equal. Versus Sweden, Andorra is almost 7 times more densely populated, and is 1/962 the size. For San Marino, it’s 21 times more densely populated, and it’s 1/7358 the size.

For that “Deaths/1 million population” figure, one person in San Marino is going to be “29.5” there. :smile:

Above Sweden on that list are most of the “heavyweights” as far as deaths in Europe. They’re all much more densely-populated than Sweden is (4 to 18 times as dense), and in all cases the virus outbreak began earlier. They’re also more separated from Sweden by distance and culture than are the countries more comparable to Sweden. It would be interesting to see “Deaths by Population Density” rather than by unit population alone.

(Jane) #15

Not surprising to me. They are a highly educated people with a lot of white collar desk jobs involving a computer that can be done at home with an Internet connection.


My friend is a nurse in Sweden in an aged care facility and he is on night shift this weekend. We have an 8 hour time difference and we were in touch before he went to work.
He is wearing full personal protective gear caring for Covid patients and unlike in Australia (and I believe many hospitals in the US), he has a full and adequate supply of personal protective gear to wear.
In Australia, Cadburys chocolate company bought up the supply of appropriate masks in January and the workers in their chocolate factory are supplied with masks that could prevent the spread of covid than a ward where they are nursing Covid patients and have a severe shortage of the masks they desperately need. That info is from an anaesthetist in charge of infection control in a Covid ward here (in Australia).
My general practitioner is wearing scrubs at her practice, as are all the other GPs there, in different colours, looking good. I commented on them (when I saw her last week for tests). They were donated by a television show the practice had advised on. They are truly excellent doctors and are asked frequently for advice on medical procedure on various tv shows. They have these brightly coloured fabulous scrubs because they begged them from a production company currently on a filming hiatius.
There are currently no appropriate cotton scrubs available to buy in Australia, so that doctors may shower and change their clothes before leaving to go home. Sending scrubs for laundering, before returning home, is very basic fundamental infection control. None available to doctors here currently. So, I have no idea how the infection is to stop being spread (in Australia) when the basic gear is not available. It is being used and avaialbe in Swedenl so I should think that would limit the spread there considerably.
We are isolating at home (in Oz), but those who are working in frontline healthcare obviously are travelling to and from work and exposure. From what I read, it is the same in America.
Sweden apparently has a far better supply of the basic equipment for protecting their healthcare workers caring for Covid patients, even in aged care.

(Doug) #17

Deaths/1M Population/Population Density (Denmark = 1)



Its worth noting that unlike quite a few other countries, Sweden is including the Covid deaths in aged care, which makes the figures for countries that are not counting including deaths in aged care and at home an invalid comparison.


These numbers are hardly comparable… I usually look at the closed cases, not like they are very informative for Sweden now (76% death among them) as for some reason, very few people recovered this far.
Death per 1M population isn’t so bad for Sweden (175), there are European countries with way bigger numbers but we know that different countries have it bad at different time and there are so many factors.
Germany always had great numbers (59 and number of active cases has been falling since some time), that’s something special. France has 310 and the peak hasn’t reached yet. It’s very important that the situation is already improving or not. If the numbers are low, it means little, they can grow a lot later.
My country has 22 but it means nothing, we are late to many other countries and no one can predict what will happen later. It depends on the actions too. Many nearby countries will relax their ways - and we will see what will happens.

I don’t know if this approach works for Sweden yet. No one can possibly know at the moment. It’s a bit boring to listen to them as they get some cases and deaths, nothing special right now, the lack of lockdown doesn’t seem reflected in the numbers yet… So it’s probably not that important as we thought - in Sweden, at least. Different approaches may work for different countries and we saw what happened in Italy and Spain so it’s quite obvious what a not flattened curve can cause (and different circumstances. 2 countries does the same and they will have drastically different results. Pandemics tend to be like this). There are risks with this approach and overwhelming the health care system is a very bad thing, we should avoid that if possible.

(Doug) #20

To some extent, yes - it would depend on there being enough such deaths that it would alter the proportions substantially.

Patients in aged care have been one of Sweden’s biggest screw-ups here. The gov’t and main health agency have thus far proceeded under the assumption that the virus “spread from those without symptoms is responsible for a very limited share” of infected people. The staff who cared for the elderly people weren’t told to wear protective masks unless they thought they were dealing with a person they thought might be infected - thus making it easy for infected staff to carry the virus to residents.

The U.S. wasn’t including such deaths, but as of now I think it’s policy to do so. That’s a big problem with the lack of testing - how does one know? In the beginning, only deaths where the patient had been hospitalized and tested with a positive result were counted - obviously this would lead to erroneously low figures, what with deaths at home, care facilities, etc. - anywhere that tests had not been done. There’s still a delay in seeing the numbers in the U.S. - much of the country is rural and the reporting process isn’t uniform - it goes through differing governmental and non-governmental coroners, magistrates, etc.

They’re very comparable - it’s Sweden and the countries around it. Denmark, for example, is only 3 km away and you can drive between the two countries - just go across a bridge. Closed cases doesn’t mean much in the absence of adequate testing - as you say, not very informative for Sweden - it’s got a death rate of 11.5% thus far; will surely decline.

What makes it bad is that the virus breakout occurred earlier in the other countries, and that Sweden is much less densely populated than some. On the basis of population density, it’s the same for Norway and Finland among the local group of countries - they look relatively good going only by the deaths per 1M population, 34 and 25, but if you adjust for population density they’re right behind Sweden as being the worst.


It’s still hard to compare countries but indeed, density… I don’t even know that data for these countries but there are still zillion other factors. But you are right, that surely is important.
But why does it matter they are neighbors? I really don’t see as even the states of my country has little to do with each other’s infection and a country is way more closed than a state… Or it matters because they are more similar somehow?

We only know the outcome of closed cases, that’s why I tend to focus on them. Mortality rate for the all confirmed cases is not very informative when the majority of the cases are active - or this amount of closed cases is already enough for some prediction? But so many things can change… But as we don’t have the vaguest idea about the number of total cases, even real, final mortality rate for the confirmed cases can’t necessarily say much about the real mortality rate… There are probably way, way more actual cases than confirmed ones in Sweden, there must be some reason for all those death while so very few recovered… I thought about it already, I can imagine various reasons why it’s so bad in some countries and way better in others… Few tests are one. Well, we will see later. It’s tiresome to think about these as we just don’t have enough information (and I admittedly know few data even from the available ones except regarding my own country. But way more than before the pandemic.)